Nationwide liaison council opposing Henoko soil hauling calls for measures against invasive species
February 13, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo
Thirteen members of Opposition to Henoko Soil Hauling, a nationwide liaison council comprised of local organizations to the soil collection sites for Henoko land reclamation, including co-representative of the council Sahio Otsu (from Amami City, Kagoshima Prefecture), visited the Okinawa Defense Bureau (ODB) on February 13. Opposition to Henoko Soil Hauling requested that the ODB not put its soil collection and hauling budget to use until measures to prevent the introduction of invasive species are formulated. Otsu said, “First of all, we strongly protest that construction in the ocean has started,” and went on to say, “Land reclamation for the new base in Henoko destroys the environment; the mountains and ocean of our beautiful homeland where we live, and consequently our way of life.” He objected that to this day the Japanese government has not provided an explanation regarding soil hauling.
ODB Deputy Director-General Kimihiko Endo sidestepped by asserting that the soil collection sites mentioned in the application for approval of land reclamation were merely considered in early-stage planning. He said that at this time the ODB does not have contracts with suppliers or set plans on where to collect soil.
However, Otsu claimed that the supplier in Yamato Village, Amami has actually finished boulder removal and collection, and the local residents were assembled and persuaded that the next quarry would be on Okinawan soil. Otsu said Endo cannot continue to ignore that soil collection is progressing.
Citizens from Nago City, Motobu Town, Amami Oshima, the Inland Sea region, and Kitakyushu came to the ODB with Opposition to Henoko Soil Hauling. They are residents of locales mentioned as soil collection sites in the application for approval of land reclamation.
(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)
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